Copywriting or copy writing is one of the critical functions of Advertising.
Surprisingly, there is no course that prepares you for this discipline.
And a few courses in India that pretend to teach you advertising fall woefully
short when it comes to copywriting craft.
The Institute of Copywriting plans to put an end to this meaningless
Its course, elegantly addresses the question: "How do I become a copywriter?" It proposes to take on people who have the raw talent to be copywriters
and turn them into finished products who can hit the ball running
from day one.
The Six-Week Foundation Course on Copywriting (Open to all)
This course will present an overview of copywriting techniques, idea generation, brand positioning, creating and understanding a brief, types of ads, types of campaigns, different media vehicles, agency structure and the role of a copywriter.
The course will be taught in the topic/module/assignment/feedback mode. The assignments will be iterative in nature and will be deadline driven.
The Six-Week Foundation Course on Copywriting is open to everyone. There are no more batches scheduled this year.
Designed to create Industry-Ready Professionals.
The course will cover these topics in depth:
The structure of a typical Advertising agency,
its various verticals, the role of a copywriter, copywriting techniques,
idea generation, brand positioning, creating and understanding a brief,
types of campaigns, media types, different types of ads.
Eligibility: Those who sucessfully complete the Six-Week Foundation Course or Junior/Trainee Copywriters with an acceptable body of work.
This, critical component, is the answer to yet another beginner's dilemma..."How do I get my first job as a copywriter?". Typically all big agencies have a screening copy test. But even to get to the test you have to convince the Creative Director of your writing and conceptual abilities. Hence, the portfolio. The most telling armament in a creative person's armoury. After you have been through our rigorous portfolio creation process, you will be industry ready in every sense of the word.
Eligibility: This course is available to those who have sucessfully completed the 3-Month Copywriting Superclass.
The course will be conducted at Mayur Vihar Phase 1, Delhi. At present, there are no hostel
facilities for candidates from other parts of India.
The course will be conducted by Sanjay Kumar. An M. Phil in Linguistics
from the University of Delhi, he has worked as a copywriter &
Creative Director with J. Walter Thompson, Rediffusion DY & R,
R K Swamy BBDO & Intiqua. He presently heads his own Advertising
& Interactive Design firm in New Delhi.
Sanjay has a rich and diverse experience of working on the top most
national and international brands. He has created a full body of work
that spans product categories across multiple markets. He blends together
his vast knowledge, language skill and understanding of the consumer
to create communication that’s credible and compulsive.
Sanjay regularly updates his blog on advertising and copywriting. It is an online repository of insightful articles on advertising, branding, and copywriting. A must read for every aspiring copywriter.
------------------- Some common queries answered by Sanjay Kumar, Director, Institute of Copywriting:
How is the Institute of Copywriting course different from the course offered by National Institute of Advertising?
The difference is focus. The National Institute of Advertising course is designed to give you a generalist overview of advertising. People who take that course will become trained for the Client servicing function in the advertising agency.
This is the part of the agency that looks at the marketing aspect, interfacing with the client on a day-to-day basis, looking after the financial aspects of running the advertising agency. Please note that for top agencies prefer MBA's from recognized Business Schools for their Client servicing department.
The other department is creative. This has Art directors who are typically BFA degree holders from Art colleges and Copywriters -These are the people the Institute of Copywriting course is focused on. A very different skills-set (creative, copy, ideas) than the National Institute of Advertising curriculum (agency functions, business, marketing, servicing).
So it is a matter of making a clear distinction in your mind.
If you want to join the Client servicing or Media function in the agency you should ideally be an MBA from a reputed business school or take a course such as offered by the National Institute of Advertising, Delhi.
For becoming an art director you should preferably have a BFA degree from a recognized art college.
To be a writer you need to convince the agency of your thinking and writing skills. You can demonstrate that by taking the Copy Test that most top agencies have, or preparing a portfolio that showcases your work.
Or you can join a course similar to one that's offered by the Institute of Copywriting that helps you fine-tune your talent, create a professional portfolio and become industry-ready in a defined period of time.
How does one become a copywriter?
Copywriting one of the few professions where a degree is not required.
That means anyone can become a copywriter, irrespective of their age, experience, background and educational history (or lack of it).
A background in English helps. You should also have an enquiring mind, store a lot of information and be able to make lateral connections.
Good copywriters are curious and don't wear blinders. Knowing how to write helps, of course.
But be sure of one thing: while the business of advertising can be fun, it's business, not art.
Ultimately, the clients pay the bills. The goal is to sell the clients' stuff. And, although there are many important things you know about advertising that your client might not, you'll never know as much about your clients' businesses as they do.
Part of your job is to draw that knowledge out of the client. And to distill that knowledge down to a key point that speaks directly to the needs of their prospects, catalyzing a message that's more than the sum of its parts.
What to look for in your First Job as a Copywriter?
Many aspiring copywriters have asked me this question: "How do I start off?" Do I just jump at the first job that comes my way or do I wait for the 'Big Agency' call to come through.
My answer is that it is not about the first job.
It is where you see yourself 3 years from now. 5 years. 10 years. 15 years...
A career is not a question of landing the first job earlier than the next guy, especially in copywriting. It is about preparing right for a job you are probably going to do for your entire working life.
So, is grabbing the first job that comes your way the right strategy?
Yes and no. First, think where you want to be: You want to be a writer in one of the top 10 agencies. This is your goal. Never lose focus of that. Now, how do you get into a top 10 agency. It is on the strength of your demonstrated talent i.e., your portfolio.
Now, evaluate the first job offer you have got from any agency.
Ask these questions:
• What are the clients the agency has?
• What is the strength of the creative department?
• Does your immediate boss have any Big Agency experience?
• Is your immediate boss a copywriter?
• Which client or clients you are being put on?
• Does the agency have a creative focus?
The answers to these questions will help you decide whether the agency is the right place for you to start your career.